Category Archives: Care Givers

Cool Gifts to Make Seniors Feel Young Again

Have you ever wondered what the greatest gift might be that you could give to a senior? Forget old-timer ideas from the past, as the best present your elderly relative or friend could benefit from is to feel young again. If you think outside the box you will find that there are wonderful gifts you can buy to enthuse and inspire seniors at your fingertips. Shopping online can save time and give you what you want.

 

Electric Bicycle

A folding electric bicycle can help the senior you have in mind get around gracefully without making them feel old. Electric bicycles can be streamlined and elegant, making elderly riders feel masterful and dynamic.

 

Many bicycles can run for fifteen miles or more before they simply need to be charged via an adapter. They can also be switched to pedal power when seniors feel the urge to exercise unassisted. They power across flat areas of land and easily help their riders climb steep hills.

 

Jukebox

Many seniors love music, and particularly enjoy listening to songs from their youth. Old memories can remind them what it’s like to be young and fancy-free again. Most modern music systems have small controls, which aren’t user-friendly for seniors. However, a jukebox can easily be set to play random favorite songs. Alternatively, its automatic turn-page system can display a variety of songs from which to select.

 

Self-aligning telescope

If seniors have reasonable eyesight, a self-aligning telescope could provide them with easy vision of the magical night sky. No one is ever too old to wish upon a star.

 

Self-aligning telescopes have a database of stars and other celestial objects on which to focus effortlessly, allowing seniors to visually journey across galaxies at their leisure.

 

Experience gifts

Gifts for seniors don’t have to be objects, as experiences can be just as meaningful and fulfilling. Many online experience packages are designed for seniors and disabled clients. Most are fun and exhilarating, giving seniors a chance to socialize while enjoying making new memories.

 

There’s no end to the kind of experience gifts you can give to a senior. From assisted kayaking to luxury coach tours or helicopter flights across the city at night, experience presents are clearly winners when it comes to gift giving.

 

Cell phone

Seniors often refuse to become enmeshed in modern technology because they can’t understand it or it simply isn’t easy enough for them to cope with handling physically. Most cell phones therefore belong to younger generations, while seniors opt to use regular telephones for communication. However, wouldn’t it be great for the senior in your life to be able to communicate wherever they are rather than being left behind?

Happily, not all cell phones are difficult for seniors to manage. Many have large displays with automatic backlighting. As their buttons are simple to push and read seniors are less likely to make mistakes than when using other kinds of cell phones.

 

Buying useful presents for seniors need not be a chore when you have access to gadgets and experience gifts online. Soon, your mature friend or relative could be dancing to his or her very own jukebox, kayaking down a river or traveling on their electric bicycle while feeling young again.

 

Jack Harding is an event planner and nothing gives him more joy than seeing whole families enjoying themselves. He enjoys sharing his insights and stories on various websites. Visit Wish.co.uk for more fun family adventure information.

Spending Time with Elders Without Overspending

With so many things we juggle daily, we often end up spending less and less time with the people who need more and more of our attention each day: our aging parents and grandparents. While it is understandable that we will always have other responsibilities to attend to, it is also important that we do not neglect the ones who have taught us most of the first things we knew.

Holidays are great opportunities to bond with your elderly loved ones. But any other day can also be a perfect moment to catch up with them and do activities that show you still care. Without traveling too far or spending a lot, there are actually many things you can do and enjoy together. Here are some activities that can help keep their memories sharp, their bodies strong, and put smiles on their tender faces:

Have a classic movie marathon – It’s as simple as it sounds. Treat your elderly to a day of his/her favorite movies from way back when he/she was still rebelling against the social norms. This would bring back wonderful memories that may give comfort and amusement to them. Try to ask ahead of time for their preferred movies and be prepared to hunt for classic favorites and black and white films. Also, make sure that the snacks you serve are healthy and appropriate for their diet. Try going for fresh  mix fruits and unsalted versions of pretzels and popcorn.

Explore the social media – It’s probably part of your daily (even hourly) routine, so why not let the grandpa and grandma enjoy the wonders of social media as well? You can show them photos of relatives that live across the country or old friends they haven’t seen in years. It’s a great way for them to be updated on the lives of people they have probably missed. You’ll be surprised by how much time you’ll spend on this, just enjoying adorable baby pictures and laughing at photos that make you reminisce about the family gatherings in the past.

Host a karaoke night – If your elderly has always been a music lover then this activity would be perfect. Invite them over for an evening of singing and a little dancing. Have a few relatives over too. This form of entertainment will help keep them physically alert while having fun. Encourage them to pick their own songs and try to go with the flow and be cooperative when they start some oldies but goodies selection.

Run, take a brisk-walk, or swim – Of course, physical exercise is highly recommended to anyone of any age. Going for a run, doing brisk-walking or swimming are great ways for your elderly to keep their bodies active. Having you as an exercise buddy would give them more reasons to be excited about it too! Make sure however to consult with their doctors before doing any physically strenuous activity. Always keep an eye on them but also equip them with communication tools in case they get lost. A reliable cell phone for seniors or even  a few coins to use in a telephone booth and some cash to pay for a taxi will be very handy.

Go out on a picnic – Visit a nearby park and let them enjoy an afternoon of picnic. The fresh air and the new surroundings will surely bring delight especially if they are  normally stuck at home just watching whatever is on TV. Allow them to walk around but always make sure you look after them. Don’t forget to bring their favorite food, but keep in mind that it must be healthy and doctor approved.

Yes, senior citizens can often be a little too grumpy and stubborn. But let’s try to look beyond their mood swings and see that they need attention and affection just as much as they need to religiously follow their prescription. Spending more time with the elderly will  not only benefit them but will also allow you to develop patience and understanding, bringing you more sense of fulfillment in the end.

Amanda Smith is a blogger based in San Diego, California. She loves writing about health and wellness, family and relationships, travel and photography and just about anything that tickles her fancy. When she’s not writing, she tries to catch up on her favorite sitcoms with her yellow Labrador, Chandler Tribbiani.

Home Care for Seniors – A Caregiver’s To-Do List

When you’re a caregiver, you have to expect the unexpected, especially when you’re taking care of an elderly patient. There are more than 50 million caregivers providing home care for the weak and elderly during any given year. To make things more hectic, only 25% of all U.S households are involved in care giving, therefore, if you’re a caregiver taking care of an elderly patient at home, you should be proud of yourself. Because of the popularity of care giving, men have started filling in for a chance to be in the care-giving career. However, women dominate as of the moment, probably because of their nurturing nature.

If you think of home care giving as an easy job, then you may want to consider the following facts:

  • Home caregivers who are expected to provide 36 or more hours of weekly care for the ageing patients are more likely to experience anxiety or depression than caregivers who work inside a senior care facility or hospital. The rate becomes six times higher for caregivers who are actually taking care of their ageing parents.

 

  • Home caregivers constantly lack sleep. Since they’re always making sure that the elderly patient has everything he or she needs, there’s 51% chance of not getting a proper sleep and a 41% chance of getting back pains.

 

  • Caring for an elderly patient is stressful enough to cause a big impact on a person’s immune system for up to 3 years. It’s no wonder, since you have to make sure that everything is ready for your patient, from the adult diapers to making sure that the IV’s port protector has been changed to a new one.

Well, now that you know the happy facts of being a home caregiver, would you still care to try such a gargantuan task? If your answers is still a “YES”, then that’s great. We caregivers do have a to-do list in order to make things life a little less harsh when caring for an elderly patient at home.

1. Always remember to take care of yourself. This is the most basic to-do list that we caregivers usually adhere to. No, it’s not selfish and it’s an absolute must. I’ve been a caregiver for years and there’s really no sense of caring for an ageing patient if you can’t even take care of yourself. Care-giving is a stressful job, where the combination of loss and obligation demands can really take its toll on your physical and mental well-being, so taking care of yourself is also a high priority.

2. Remember to reward yourself. Despite the stressful environment, taking care of an elderly patient at home pays really well, so perhaps having a nice dinner with a friend or loved one can help ease the stress for a day.

3. Have some personal time. Do something you enjoy as a hobby or perhaps you might want to do your personal chores. Taking care of an elderly patient does not need to hinder your own personal time. Besides, it helps calm down your nerves, therefore fighting depression and anxiety.

4. When things don’t go the way you planned, get help. Even for an experienced caregiver, I still ask advice from some of my older caregiver friends. Help can also come from community resources, family friends and professionals too. The friends and family of the elderly patient can provide invaluable help, especially if the patient seems too grouchy towards a new home caregiver. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially when you need it.

5. Last but not the least, protect your health. How can you take care of your patient if you keep getting sick? Give yourself time to exercise, eat well and for your personal grooming too. Limit your coffee intake and get lots of rest. You owe your body that much, since you can’t do your job if you’re not healthy!

About the Author:

Jessica Greenberg is a caregiver and avid blogger from San Diego, California. When she’s taking her well-deserved rest, she usually hangs out with her friends and is constantly updating Wordbaristas.com, a blog that she keeps with her group.

Alzheimer’s Disease: Caregiver Help

What do you do when you find out your mom or dad has Alzheimer’s Disease or another form of dementia? As the population’s life expectancy conitnues to improve we’re seeing a marked decrease in the quality of life when our bodies outlive our minds.

I’ve recently discoved Fit Minds and I’m looking into the products they offer that can help family members ( and the daughter’s of dementia patients in particular ) cope and better manage the care of they’re loved ones.

Do you have any experiences with this product? I’d love to hear from people who’ve use Fit Mind and publish some reviews.

How-To Select a Retirement Community for your Aging Parents

If you have a loved one who is approaching an age when he or she could enter a retirement community, then you may be thinking about what you need to consider when selecting a new home for your loved one. There are many factors that you need to consider when selecting a retirement community for your loved one. Follow this handy guide to learn more about the factors you should consider before deciding on a retirement community. One of the best things you can do is visit a list of potential homes and see how they feel to you and the loved ones who may call a retirement community home.

Set a Budget

Decide what you can afford. Check with your parents’ insurance plan. Some Medicaid plans and long-term health insurance plans offer help with retirement community costs. Sometimes you won’t be able to find out the monthly rent at a retirement community until you tour, so make a list of the top five communities in your area and then tour each one. During the tour, you’ll be able to get specifics on the financials.

Ask Questions

When you tour the communities, ask lots of questions. Here are a few important ones:

  1. What kind of food is served?
  2. Is the staff licensed? How many registered nurses? Where do the home health nurses get their training? Have there been any grievances filed against any staff in the past year?  Have any employees been let go because of poor care of the residents?
  3. What kind of medical care is provided at the community? What about emergency care?
  4. What kinds of activities are available for residents? Does the community offer bus trips to the grocery store or to the mall? Is there are an exercise class?
  5. What are the hidden fees and penalties, if any?
  6. What recreation activities are nearby?  Is there transportation?
  7. What is the average age of the residents?  Does this fit in with the type of community you would like to be a part of?
  8. What types of housing options are available?  Apartments, Cottages, or rooms in facility?
  9. How easy is it to move into different housing if needs change?
  10. What home care services are available and at what cost?

Stay for Lunch

The only way for you to determine how you really feel about a community is to really experience it. Stay for lunch. Taste the food. Go to an arts and crafts hour or attend an exercise class. Walk around the community. Talk to other residents. Sit in a room and see if you can envision yourself in the room. Talk to and observe the nurses. Are they attentive and caring to the residents? Do you hear any yelling or see any neglect. Finally, visit more than once. Drop in a few times to see how things are going at different times and on different days of the week.

Conclusion

Deciding on the right retirement community is no small task. It requires a great deal of research. In the end, you are going to select the retirement community that feels right to you and your loved one that is also within your budget. There are some very important questions you need to remember to ask as you are touring retirement communities. Take this handy guide with you as you begin your search, and ask questions. The staff at the retirement communities that you tour should be able to answer all of these questions. Also, don’t be afraid to ask current residents how they like the community. You can get real answers from people who are not being paid to market the facility. With a little hard work and a little patience, you will arrive at the best possible choice within the retirement community options that you have in your city. Take your time and think about the potential community carefully before making a final decision. Ultimately, recognize that your loved one may not be settled on a community (and many elderly people do not want to leave their homes), but you are looking for a safe, clean, and caring community for your loved one to thrive in the future. Every new home takes a little time to get used to.

Tom Conford wrote this article on behalf of The Hamptons, a luxury retirement community in Tyler, Texas.  Tom is a freelance writer based in Arizona and is recently caring for an elderly parent.